Tupelo (Miss.) used a four-run third inning on Friday to take control on the way to a 6-3 win over Bishop Gorman at the American Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C.
Will Cox allowed three runs in eight innings and also drove in three runs to lead Tupelo.
Gorman got the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth when Jerrell Latham walked and Justin Jones singled with one out.
But reliever Brandon Woodruff struck out Johnny Sewald and got Tyler Baker to ground out to second to end the game.
Gorman playsBedford (N.H.) at approximately 10 a.m. Saturday in an elimination game. Bedford lost 12-1 to Gaffney (S.C.) on Friday.
“We played a good team. Both pitchers we saw are going to Mississippi State, and the closer we saw was drafted in the fifth round,” Gorman coach Nick Day said. “We saw probably the best two pitchers we’ll see all tournament. We really ran into a good team.”
The Titans took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. T.J. White singled with one out to start the rally. He stole second and went to third on a throwing error.
After Erik Van Meetren walked, the Gaels used a double steal to plate the first run. A.J. Van Meetren then singled home his older brother to make it 2-0.
Tupelo answered in the third and took the lead for good with the four-run inning. Cox had the big blow with a two-run single.
Tupelo added two runs in the sixth to make it 6-2.
The Titans closed out the scoring in the top of the seventh when A.J. Van Meetren led off with a double and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Cody Roper.
Gorman loaded the bases in the inning, but Cox got Sewald to ground out to second to end the threat.
“We battled, and we had some chances.,” Day said. “We had 11 hits off good pitching, but we could just never come up with that big hit.”Cox was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and allowed three runs on 10 hits in eight innings.
A.J. Van Meetren was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI for the Titans. Erik Van Meetren, White, Latham and Jones each added two hits for Gorman.